Checking your car´s tyres
Many people get in their car on a daily basis and just drive it with no thought to checking the basics i.e. oil levels, water levels, tyre pressures etc. It is therefore important to make regular checks on these things and we will cover them in this and subsequent issues. If you maintain a review of these things, along with a good maintenance plan with your garage or mechanic, this will probably prolong the life of your car.
This week we are looking at Tyres
It is a well-known fact that most drivers never check their tyre pressures even though it’s no more difficult to do than filling your fuel tank. Incredible as it may seem, the four corners of your vehicle are supported by nothing more than air pressure. The pressure is either listed as a number such as 30 with the letters PSI after it or 2.2 with the letters BAR. PSI stands for pounds per square inch. So how do you know what pressure should be in your tyres? If you have an owner’s manual, or can download one form the internet you will find the relevant information there. However most cars have a plaque or sticker around the driver’s door or on the pillar at the front of the car where the door shuts or on the inside of the petrol flap.
Once you have found your recommended tyre pressures, you will need a tyre pressure gauge, although if you go to a Petrol station they are usually machines there for checking the pressure and putting in air where necessary.
It is a good idea to check tyre pressures at least once a month. Over or under inflated tyres can drastically affect a car´s performance and in some cases will result in abnormal tyre wear which can lead to further problems and also affect the handling of the vehicle. There are three main reasons why maintaining the right tyre pressure is important.
Tyres that are under inflated can overheat; and over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling on the road.
Over or under inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Vehicles with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that require more fuel to maintain the same speed.
Correct tyre pressures help to maintain optimum fuel efficiency.
If you have a puncture then you may use your spare or run flat, but you must remember to have this fixed as a matter of urgency so that you are never without a spare tyre. Run flats are only designed to be used in an emergency and should not be used long term. Many tyre suppliers will repair minor punctures at a very reasonable price. Your safety and the safety of your passengers rely on a well maintained safe car.
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